Four or five players weren’t ready to play, says Bexhill coach

Bexhill celebrate a wicket during the reverse fixture against tomorrow's opponents Billingshurst. Picture by Steve Robards
Bexhill celebrate a wicket during the reverse fixture against tomorrow's opponents Billingshurst. Picture by Steve Robards

Bexhill Cricket Club coach Hamish Russell accused several first team players of not being ready to play in last weekend’s defeat at Three Bridges.

Bexhill lost the Sussex Cricket League Division Two second-top versus second-bottom encounter by eight wickets and Russell felt they were almost beaten before the start.

He said: “This just felt like the worst game of the season - it had the feeling about and the look about it. The defeat wasn’t the worst thing about it.

“We almost gave the game away before we started. Four or five people turned up and weren’t really ready to play cricket, and weren’t really interested in cricket. We didn’t ever look like we were up for the game.

See also: * Bexhill well beaten by title-chasing Bridges
* We still need three more wins, says Bexhill coach

“Nobody got out on purpose, but there was absolutely no preparation for it whatsoever. You’re never going to win games of cricket like that. That game was lost before the toss of a coin. People know what I thought about it at the time.

“Bridges are on a good run and they’re a useful side. Maybe we would’ve got away with it on another day, but not against a team that’s up the top of the league.”

Bexhill were all out for 133, with no batsman reaching 25, and Bridges knocked off the runs in just 24 overs.

“I was confident we would put up a good show,” Russell continued. “People got starts, but never went on and we folded very easily.

“I kept away from everybody on Saturday and Sunday. I have my opinion on the way things need to go; it will be interesting to see what other people’s thoughts are.”

Bexhill are now 12 points adrift of an Ansty side which occupies the final safe spot of third-bottom with five games remaining, the first of which is at home to fourth-placed Billingshurst tomorrow (Saturday).

“It will be really nice if people respond in the right way,” Russell added. “It’s a big game this weekend. There’s three or four guys I’m confident will respond in the right way and I hope that shows itself. A change of mentality would be all I’m asking for.

“If we need to make some tough decisions and it affects the season, so be it. If there are individuals throughout the teams that are just going along with the flow of it, we can probably make some tough decisions. But that’s up to the players really - they’re the people that turn up week in, week out.”

Russell is confident Bexhill will be far more competitive than in June’s reverse fixture, when they were comfortably beaten.

“We batted on a very wet wicket against some good bowlers,” he said. “It will be a different game at home on Polegrove. When other teams come to Bexhill, we’ve got that bit more of an advantage.”

Matt Peters is expected to return for a match which will get underway from 12.30pm.

Sussex Cricket League Division Two standings (all played 13 matches): 1 Mayfield 315pts, 2 Three Bridges 313, 3 Haywards Heath 242, 4 Billingshurst 242, 5 St James’s Montefiore 240, 6 Chichester Priory Park 195, 7 Bognor Regis 192, 8 Ansty 178, 9 BEXHILL 166, 10 Lindfield 137.

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